Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources




Edited by Jon Stewart

Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2011. xvii+427pp.

The term “existentialism” has traditionally been notoriously difficult to define due to the fact that the label has been attached to the work of so many different thinkers with such diverse agendas. However, there can be no doubt that most of the thinkers who are usually associated with the existentialist tradition, for whatever their actual doctrines, were in one way or another influenced by the writings of Kierkegaard.

This influence is so great that it can be fairly stated that the existentialist movement was in large part responsible for the major advance in Kierkegaard’s international reception that took place in the twentieth century. It was with existentialism that Kierkegaard first entered the standard canon of Western philosophy.

In Kierkegaard’s writings one can find a rich array of concepts such as anxiety, despair, freedom, sin, the crowd, and sickness that all came to be standard motifs in existentialist literature.

Jean-Paul Sartre played an important role in canonizing Kierkegaard as one of the forerunners of existentialism. However, recent scholarship has been attentive to his ideological use of Kierkegaard. Indeed, Sartre seemed to be exploiting Kierkegaard for his own purposes and not accurately representing the thought of the Dane in its original nineteenth-century philosophical milieu. For example, it has been common to point out that Kierkegaard would not even agree with Sartre’s own stated first principle of existentialism that existence precedes essence. Suspicions of misrepresentation and distortions have led recent commentators to go back and reexamine the complex relation between Kierkegaard and the existentialist thinkers.

The articles in the present volume feature figures from the French, German, Spanish and Russian traditions of existentialism. They examine the rich and varied use of Kierkegaard by these later thinkers, and, most importantly, they critically analyze his purported role in this famous intellectual movement.

Table of Contents

Simone de Beauvoir
: A Founding Feminist’s Appreciation of Kierkegaard
Ronald M. Green and Mary Jean Green 

Nicholas Berdyaev: Kierkegaard amongst the Artists, Mystics and Solitary Thinkers
George Pattison

Martin Buber
: “No-One Can so Refute Kierkegaard as Kierkegaard Himself”
Peter Šajda

Albert Camus: Walled within God
Leo Stan

Martin Heidegger: Kierkegaard’s Influence Hidden and In Full View
Vincent McCarthy

Michel Henry: The Goodness of Living Affectivity
Leo Stan

Karl Jaspers: A Great Awakener’s Way to Philosophy of Existence
István Czakó

Gabriel Marcel: The Silence of Truth
Jeanette B. L. Knox

Jacques Maritain: Kierkegaard as “Champion of the Singular”
Nathaniel Kramer 

Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Kierkegaard's Influence on His Work
Elisabetta Basso

Friedrich Nietzsche: Rival Visions of the Best Way of Life
Thomas Miles

Franz Rosenzweig: A Kindred Spirit in Alignment with Kierkegaard
Claudia Welz

Jean-Paul Sartre: Kierkegaard’s Influence on His Theory of Nothingness
Manuela Hackel

Lev Shestov: Kierkegaard in the Ox of Phalaris
George Pattison 

Miguel de Unamuno: Kierkegaard’s Spanish “Brother”
Jan Evans 

Jean Wahl: Philosophies of Existence and the Introduction of Kierkegaard in the non-Germanic World
Azucena Palavicini and Alejandro Cavallazzi Sánchez



"...this volume is a rich resource for Kierkegaard scholars. There have been other essays on Kierkegaard in relation to many of these thinkers, but the great merit of this volume is the way it collects thorough, detailed, and up-to-date studies of Kierkegaard’s influence on these thinkers, as well as bibliographic information on the relevant scholarship....Consequently, this volume (like this series) will serve as the ideal first stop for researchers seeking to understand Kierkegaard in relation to other major philosophical, theological, and literary figures."
Brian Gregor, Philosophy in Review, vol. 32, no. 1, 2012, pp. 58-61.


"Overall, this book is a wonderful addition to the work already completed in the Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources series. It is certainly a fantastic research tool to have when working on the reception of Kierkegaard’s thought among the existentialists. To this end, one of its greatest elements are the bibliographies found at the end of each essay; together these provide a plethora of further resources in a number of languages which highlight the references to (and uses of) Kierkegaard in each philosopher’s oeuvre, the sources of each thinker’s knowledge of Kierkegaard, as well as the relevant secondary literature treating Kierkegaard’s relation to each given figure."
Harris B. Bechtol, The Bibliographia, 2013, pp. 1-7.


"This book provides an excellent starting point for researchers looking to situate Kierkegaard with other thinkers commonly labeled as 'existentialists.' "
Eric Hamm, Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, no. 62, 2014, pp. 20-21.


"The book as a whole contains much information on the genesis of Existentialism and on Kierkegaard's role in it."
Milan Petkanic, Filozofia, vol. 68, no. 1, 2013, pp. 87-90.


Volume 8

Kierkegard’s International Reception
Tomes I-III


Volume 9

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Existentialism

Volume 10

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Theology

Tomes I-III

Volume 11

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Philosophy
Tomes I-III

Volume 12

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Literature and Criticism
Tomes I-V

Volume 13

Kierkegaard’s Influence on the Social Sciences

Volume 14

Kierkegaard’s Influence on Social-Political Thought

















































The series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is published Routledge Research, Philosophy
Routledge / Taylor & Francis Group, 711 Third Ave., Eighth Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA

Jon Stewart©2007-2020